Aahaar program was launched on 1st April 2015 in Odisha. Housing and Urban Development Department is the nodal department to implement the Aahaar program in the State. The objective of the program is to provide cooked hot meals - steamed rice and dalma- to the poor and needy people at the cost of Rs. 5/- at places of public congregations in the urban areas. The program was piloted in five Municipal Corporations viz. Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Rourkela with 21 Aahaar centres. Shri Naveen Patnaik, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Odisha dedicated 100 Aahaar centres to the poor and needy people of the State on 14th April 2016. Currently 110 centres are operational across 30 districts of Odisha covering 73 towns. Aahaar outlets are mostly opened at hospitals and near bus- stands, railway stations, Courts, Collectorates, etc.
Services and Beneficiaries
The cooked hot foods are being provided to the beneficiaries at an affordable cost of Rs 5 /- per meal from 11 am to 3 pm each day, except Sunday. The actual cost of the food is Rs. 20/- .The remaining cost of a meal i.e. Rs. 15 /- is being met by support from CSR, local donation, charity, CMRF etc. Around 67,000 needy poor people are getting the benefits daily in the state. Beneficiaries mostly include patients, attendants of patients, construction workers, labourers, rickshaw pullers, auto drivers, street children, needy students, destitute, rag pickers, etc.
The Scheme is being implemented with the support from fourteen implementing partners i.e. Touchstone Foundation - a sister concern of Akshaya Patra Foundation, Manna Trust – a sister concern of Naandi Foundation, Jana Kalyana Parisad Balasore, Neighbour Bhadrak, Gram Uthan Kendrapada, Abhijit Sahayog Samiti Trust Paradeep, Pragati SHG Bolangir, Maa Baisnabi SHG Titlagarh, Maa Mangala SHG Phulbani, Arati SHG Malkangir, Nari Jagruti SHG Balimela, Sonepur District Rice Miller Association, National Institute of Professional Studies Anandpur and Rotary Club Nayagarh. Providing good quality food, maintaining hygiene, cleanliness, etc. are the major focus of the program, for which all staffs associated with this program are being trained by the implementing agencies and H&UD Department.
Sustainability and Formation of Society
For maintaining the benchmark of service delivery at all Aahaar centres and to make the program sustainable, Odisha Aahaar Society (OAS) and District Aahaar Society (DAS) in all the 30 districts, at the state level and district level respectively, have been registered under Society Registration Act 1860. The Odisha Aahaar Society (OSAS) has a governing body as well as an executive body. Governing body is chaired by the Chief Secretary of Odisha and the executive body by the Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Department. Each District Aahaar Society, headed by the respective Collector - cum- District Magistrate as chairperson, is the affiliated society of the Odisha State Aahaar Society. DAS can mobilise funds for Aahaar program from the donor like corporate, industries, traders, philanthropic organisations, individuals, etc. for meeting the subsidy money required for feeding the poor and needy.
Coffee Table Book on Aahaar